Chris received an email recently from a business acquaintance who's launching a new web service. It's called Beta Test Beauty and it's "...a market research service for skin and beauty-care makers..." They're seeking people who are interested in sampling products then answering a survey. The products are provided free and participants will be paid. I've signed up, but have no personal experience to share yet - good or bad. Check it out if you'd like.
My Beauty Philosophy (today)
I don't begrudge any person for wanting to look attractive. I currently don't judge women or men who choose to use Botox, Fillers, Thermage, Lasers, etc... if it enhances their self esteem. I also admire those people who are at peace with their appearance and don't feel the need to moisturize, plump, fluff or pluck. How freeing that must be.
My Skin History (like you care)
In the 1970s I recall laying in the sun with Mother. If I was reading a book, resulting in my face looking down towards my lap, she would lovingly say, "Chrisy, tilt your head back. Your face needs a little sun." I was eleven. She was only trying to be helpful.
In the 1980s I lifeguarded during the summers throughout high school and college. I never wore sunscreen. Ever. On my days off, I sunbathed in a bikini so I wouldn't have Speedo tan lines.
During the winters while attending college at NAU in Flagstaff, Arizona, I worked at Snowbowl - a ski area - in the Rental Shop. I loved having a tan face from skiing, and often sat outside during my work breaks, tipping my face to the strong, mountain sun. No sunscreen. Ever.
In the 1990s Chris and I raced mountain bikes. The unique tan lines cyclists get are a badge of honor, but for a gal, not so pretty. When not riding, I sunbathed to even out my tan. For hours. Again, no sunscreen.
Ruh-Roh (not looking like the other girls my age?)
When I turned 35 in 2001, I looked in the mirror and said, "Shit." Years of sun worship had taken their toll. I vowed to use sunscreen daily, leave behind my tanorexia, and pursue safe wrinkle-reducing creams and strategies. Pale is *pretty*, I decided. I also became a marketer's dream.
The Products (you name it, I tried it)
I've tried everything over the past seven years. Expensive, inexpensive, and infomercial products.
Little by little my skin began looking better.
I can't tell you if it was Creme De La Mer, Darphin, La Prairie, Strivectin, Mary Kay, faithful sunscreen usage, or Kathie Lee Gifford's stuff on QVC. Maybe a combination of everything, but there was a definite improvement. The fact that I hadn't been baking my skin for a few years helped, I'm certain.
Then, I plateaued around the age of 40. Nothing seemed to work any more.
Mother (trying to be helpful, and usually right)
"You know Honey, a little Botox and Filler wouldn't hurt you... I really like that More magazine. You should read it..." She's been trying to get me to read More since I was 35 and accused her of prematurely aging me. [FYI, Mother has only heard that Botox and Filler are a "good thing".]
Botox and Filler vs. Expensive Creams? (laughing, snickering, winking with those who know)
So I did it . Not a lot of it, and only a couple of times. Mother took me in July of 2007 and I got some Botox and Filler. To be honest, it was too much Botox and since then, I've found the amount that softens deep lines without affecting expression. I've been told by close friends that it's so subtle, why do I bother? Because it makes me feel better. That's why.
The only creams I use on my face now are Retin-A and Neutrogena SPF 45.
1. Even though I signed up for the Beta Test Beauty project, I can't imagine I'll ever return to spending money on creams and serums. Retin-A, sunscreen, and a little Botox twice a year... I'm good. Even if I don't do Botox - the Retin-A and sunscreen are better than anything I've done prior. [Mother gets me Retin-A in Mexico. Shhh.]
2. I like More magazine. I don't have a subscription, but I pick up an issue occasionally.
3. Mother was right. She usually is. Except for the part where she prematurely aged my skin.
4. I haven't had Botox in over six months and it REALLY does leave the body in 3-4 months. I didn't believe people who said that, until I'd done it myself and felt sad when it's effects were gone. I don't know when I'll do it again, but I will, and it won't be very much, but I'll feel happy, even if no one else notices.
5. I had Filler in my nasal labial folds - the parenthesis on each side of the mouth. FYI, Botox does not hurt. Filler hurts.
Moral of the Story
Whether you're choosing to age naturally or... not... Use hair color, hair remover, moisturizers, sunscreen, make-up or... not... Let's try not to judge one another. I don't get professional manicures... you don't bleach your mustache. We can still be friends.